THE WHEEL of Life and Time has made another revolution and we are approaching the festive season, which, among other things is marked by the 58th yearly issue of THE LEDBURY ALMANACK.
The memory of 1931 will long remain green among agriculturists for it was one of the most difficult and worrying seasons experienced by even the oldest farmer. Widespread havoc was caused to crops in the district by the continuous rains during the summer, which was the wettest and coldest for over a century.
In August a crisis in the financial affairs of the nation; the turmoil of a General Election in October; huge numbers of unemployed workers throughout the country, numbers that easily constituted a record over any previous year; those were the outstanding features of the remarkable year 1931.
January 1 An invitation party and dance, organised by Mrs T.A. JONES, with the help of a ladies committee, was held at the Feathers Assembly Rooms. The proceeds of the event amounted to the sum of £11 10s 0d was divided between the Cottage Hospital and Ledbury Nursing Association.
January 1 Ledbury Church Choir annual concert at the Church Room.
January 6 Annual meeting of the Ledbury branch National Farmers Union held at the Feathers Hotel.
January 9 Ledbury Sports Club annual whist drive and dance at the Feathers Hotel.
January 12 Members of St Michael’s class entertained by the Rector to a social evening at the Church Room.
January 13 A public meeting was held at the Drill Hall with a view to the revival of the Ledbury Town Band.
January 13 Ledbury Girls’ Friendly Society social evening at the Church Room.
January 14 The death occurred suddenly at Ledbury Cottage Hospital, following an operation, of Mr William SHEPHERD POWELL, of Hall Court, Much Marcle, aged 37 years, a well-known farmer and sportsman.
January 15 A large party of old people of Ledbury were entertained to a tea and concert at the Feathers Hotel by members of the local C.E.M.S.
January 15 Ledbury B.P. Scouts held a ‘partner’ whist drive at the Church Room.
January 16 Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association children’s party at the Feathers Hotel.
January 19 At the Ledbury Parish Church annual meeting held at the Church Room, a deficit of £91 13s 1d was reported on the years working.
January 21 The annual installation ceremony in connection with the Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons was held at the Drill Hall, when Bro. Stafford WESTON was installed Worshipful Master for the ensuing year. Subsequently a banquet was held at the Feathers Hotel.
January 25 Death of Mr Albert Charles LEWIS, of the Homend, at the age of 68. The late Mr LEWIS was one of Ledbury’s oldest tradesmen and had carried on a butchers business in the Homend for 36 years.
January 29 Ledbury Girl Guides annual ball held at the Feathers Hotel.
January 30 Annual meeting of Ledbury Cricket and Sports Club at the Feathers Hotel.
January 30 Ledbury Ladies’ Hockey Club social in the Church Room.
February 3 At the Ledbury Babies’ Welfare Centre at the Church Room, Nurse PHILLIPS was presented with a Wrist Watch and an illuminated address in recognition of 12 years work for this organisation.
February 4 A whist drive organised by Ledbury Nursing Association was held at West Hill.
February 5 Ledbury Girl Guides annual meeting at the Church Room.
February 7 Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association entertainment and concert at the Royal Hall. The programme consisted of six scenes for ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ (Charles Dickens) and a fairy play entitled ‘In Already@ given by the pupils of Mrs MARSHAM, Coddington Rectory. Mr J.P.L. THOMAS, prospective Conservative candidate for the division, addressed the large audience during an interval.
February 9 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury branch of the Women’s Unionist Association held at the Barrett Browning Institute, Lady BIDDULPH was re-elected president for the coming year.
February 12 Handel’s ‘Messiah’ was excellently performed by the Ledbury Musical Society at their annual concert in the Royal Hall.
February 20 Annual meeting of Ledbury Cottage Hospital subscribers and donors held at Feathers Hotel.
February 20 Death of Mrs Mary TILLEY, widow of the late Luke TILLEY, printer and stationer of Ledbury. The late Mrs TILLEY, who was 82 years of age, had resided in Ledbury for upwards of 60 years.
February 21 Annual meeting of the local branch of the National Union of Teachers held at Ledbury Boys School.
February 27 A large audience attended a lecture on ‘John MASEFIELD’ given at the Feathers Assembly Rooms, when Mr Alfred WATKINS, F.R.P.S., of Hereford, delivered a most interesting address on the life and work of the Ledbury born Poet Laureate. The proceeds of the Lecture amounting to £4 9s 3d was divided between the Ledbury Nursing Association and Ledbury Orthopaedic After-Care Centre.
February 28 Ledbury Grammar School Old Pupils’ Association held its first re-union dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
March 2 ‘An evening with the life and works of ‘Beethoven’ was the title of an excellent programme given in the Wesleyan school-room in connection with the Wesleyan Guild.
March 5 Annual dinner of the Ledbury Fire Brigade, held at the Feathers Hotel, Capt. R.G. GURNEY, the former chief officer of the Brigade was presented with a silver salver, two easy chairs and an album containing an illuminating address, in recognition of the valuable service rendered to the district for nearly 30 years, during which he was Surveyor to the Urban and Rural Councils.
March 5 Death of Mr George BOSLEY, of Church Street, aged 67.
March 9 The old established business of Messrs Chas. HILL and Sons, monumental sculptors, New Street, was taken over by Messrs T.A. KING & Co. of Hereford.
March 10 Feathers Bowls Club annual meeting.
March 13 Public temperance meeting held in the Congregational Schoolroom.
March 15 Ledbury Congregational Church re-opened following the completion of alterations and renovations.
March 16 Junior Imperial League entertainment at the Feathers Hotel.
March 17 Holy Trinity Catholic Church mid-lent dance at the Feathers Hotel.
March 19 Annual dinner (the first since the Great War) of the Ledbury ‘C’ Company 1st Herefordshire Regiment was held at the Drill Hall.
March 21 A rummage sale held in the Wesleyan Schoolroom realised the sum of £5 for the Chapel fund.
March 24 Concert in the Wesleyan Schoolroom in aid of the Manse Building Fund.
March 26 The death occurred suddenly at his residence, Sunny croft, Bank Crescent, of Mr Charles SMITH at the age of 79. Until about three years ago the late Mr SMITH had farmed The Vineyard, Donnington, where he had lived for 75 years.
March 27 A number of pupils of various schools in Ledbury district participated in the Musical Competitions Festival held at the Shirehall, Hereford.
March 28 Ledbury Sports Club rummage sale at the Drill Hall resulted in a profit of about £10.
March 29 Confirmation service at Ledbury Parish Church, 110 candidates.
March 30 Annual sports of the Ledbury Grammar School were held at the Biddulph Arms grounds.
March 30 Polling to fill five vacancies on the Ledbury Urban Council took place at the Police Court, the successful candidates being : Messrs G.H. SMITH, A.E. MANGHAM, J.R. DENSLOW, H.J. CHAPMAN and Alfred JAMES.
April 4 Ledbury Hunt Steeplechases were held at Bushley Park, near Tewkesbury, where a very large crowd witnessed a good afternoon’s sport.
April 6 Easter Monday.
April 6 Upwards of 200 people attended the 1st Ledbury Troop B.P. Scouts annual ball at the Feathers Hotel.
April 9 Ledbury Girls Life Brigade concert at the church room.
April 10 Quarterly meeting or the members of Ledbury Reading Room and Library. A very satisfactory state of affairs was reported and the accounts showed a credit balance of £11 16s 7d on the years working.
April 11 At a smoking concert at Maddox’s Café Pavillion Mr Frank OWEN, M.P., addressed a large gathering of members of the Ledbury Liberal Association.
April 14 A concert in aid of the Congregational Sunday School funds was given in the schoolroom.
April 16 At the annual dinner of the Ledbury Cribbage League, held at the Feathers Hotel, the silver challenge cup was presented to the League Champions (the ‘Seven Stars’) who had won the cup for the second year in succession.
April 17 Ledbury Rural Council annual meeting. Mr Spencer H. BICKHAM was re-elected chairman.
April 17 At a meeting of the Ledbury branch of the NUR held at the New Inn Hotel, Mr Charles SMART, Old Wharf, Ledbury, was presented with a cheque for £24 from the NUR Disablement Fund, to mark his retirement from the G.W.R. after many years’ service as a platelayer.
April 17 Ledbury branch of the Junior Imperial League social and dance at the Feathers Hotel in aid of the Cottage Hospital Wireless Fund.
April 17 An inquest was held at Ledbury Police Court, touching the death of Henry REECE (69), a painter, of Albert Road, Newtown, whose body was found in the River Leadon the previous day. A verdict of ‘found drowned’ was returned.
April 20 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Rural Council, Mr W.G. WARREN was elected Chairman for the ensuing year.
April 20 Local branch of the C.E.M.S. annual meeting held at the Rectory.
April 22 Annual whist drive and dance at the Drill Hall in connection with Ledbury ‘C’ Company Herefordshire Regt.
April 23 A three-act operetta, ‘Pearl, the Fair-maiden’ was given at the Royal Hall by the Ledbury League of Young Liberals, the performance being repeated on the two following nights before crowded audiences.
April 25 An interesting function took place at the Church Room, when church workers of various organisations connected with Ledbury Church were invited to meet the recently-appointed Bishop of Hereford (Dr G. LISLE CARR).
April 25 Two large parties from Ledbury visited Wembley to witness the F.A. Cup Final. Result: West Bromwich Albion 2, Birmingham 1
April 26 Census Day, the returns of which showed the present population of Ledbury Urban to be 3,283, an increase of 131 over the 1921 census. The figures for the Ledbury Rural district were 9,742, an increase of 149.
April 29 Dedication of a memorial window, placed in the Chancel of Ledbury Parish Church, to the memory of Mr W.A.H. MARTIN.
April 30 Ledbury Rugby Football Club first annual dinner, held at the Feathers Hotel.
May 2 Unionist Association smoking concert at the Feathers Hotel.
May 3 Ledbury Mission Hall, which for nearly 40 years had been the centre of religious work under the superintendence of Miss A.R. BARKLEY and other ladies’, was taken over by the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance.
May 5 Annual dancing display at the Royal Hall, given by the pupils of Miss Grace DOVEY in aid of the Children’s League of Pity, when a net profit of £18 13s 5d was made.
May 6 A meeting was held at the Feathers Hotel with a view to forming a Ledbury Lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose.
May 7 There was a crowded attendance at the Drill Hall at the opening of an ‘Olde English Fayre’, organised by members of Ledbury Wesleyan Church in aid of the Manse Building Fund. A sum of about £250 was made.
May 11 At the annual meeting of Ledbury St Michael’s F.C. held at the Rectory a most successful season was reported, and the accounts showed a credit balance of over £10.
May 12 Ledbury Cottage Hospital annual ‘Pound Day’.
May 16 At a meeting of the Ledbury branch of the National Farmers Union, held at the Feathers Hotel, presentations were made to Mr Ernest BAILEY, of Homend Street, in recognition of his brave action on February 20th when he rescued his employer, Mr Geo COLLINS, Rhea Farm, from an infuriated bull. The gifts took the form of War Savings Certificates value £16, £2 in cash and a framed illuminated testimonial from the NFU, also a similar testimonial from Ledbury Urban Council.
May 25 Ledbury League of Young Liberals dance at the Royal Hall.
May 26 Death of Mr Charles DEEM, of Belle Orchard, aged 57. The late Mr DEEM was a retired signalman and had been in the service of GWR for 39 years.
May 30 Ledbury and District Nursing Association annual meeting at the Church Room.
June 2 The death occurred at Nieupurt Hall Sanitorium of Mr Albert T MANSELL, Woodleigh Road, Ledbury, at the age of 35 years. The late Mr MANSELL, who was well-known local footballer, had been in the employ of Tilley & Son, printers, for upwards of 20 years.
June 7 In common with other parts of the country, two distinct earthquake tremors were felt in Ledbury, but no damage was recorded in the district.
June 9 Opening day of the Three Counties Agricultural Show at Hereford. The 1932 show will be held at Gloucester.
June 10 Mr Alfred C WILLIAMS (aged 23), of Albert Road, died at the Cottage Hospital following injuries received in a collision between his bicycle and a motor car.
June 14 Wesleyan Church anniversary services.
June 16 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury branch of the League of Young Liberals a very successful years work was reported, the finances of the organisation showing a credit balance of £37 15s 8d.
June 18 Ledbury Grammar School participated in Country Dancing competitions at Holme Lacy, the teams winning four of the classes and also secured two second places.
June 19 A meeting of the Ledbury Hospital Football Cup committee was held at the Plough Hotel and a most satisfactory result of the Cup competition was recorded, a cheque for £25 being forwarded to the Cottage Hospital.
June 19 An inquest was held at Ledbury Police Court on the body of Emma DAVIES (86), of Homend Street, who died from injuries sustained from a fall. A verdict of ‘Accidental Death’ was recorded.
June 21 Special services were conducted by the Rev. G.J. HIGGINS at the annual rally of members of Ledbury Congregational Church.
June 24 Annual outing of the Ledbury Women’s Unionist Association when the members visited Hampton Court Palace.
June 27 A large party of children and workers of Ledbury Band of Hope took part in a Band of Hope and Juvenile Temperance demonstration at Hereford.
July 1 Around 5000 members and employees of the Dudley Co-Operative Society and district branches visited Ledbury on its annual outing en route to Hereford. The trippers were conveyed in 160 char-a-bancs, and the streets of Ledbury presented a scene of unusual liveliness during their stay in town.
July 3 At the annual meeting of Ledbury Town Football Club, held at the Plough Hotel, a very successful season’s working was reported and the accounts showed a balance of £42 0s 0d. It was decided to re-enter the Worcester and District League.
July 5 Ledbury branch of the Junior Imperial League outing to Weston-Super-Mare.
July 7 Joseph COLHOUN (46), a stockman of Wellington Heath, was found dead in a cornfield just off the Bosbury Road, death being due to heart failure.
July 8 At a special meeting of the Urban Council, sanction was given for Ledbury’s new building scheme to be proceeded with, by which 32 new houses would be erected on a new road to be put through from Oatleys Road to Bridge Street.
July 8 William BEALE (63), of Lower Road, collapsed and died on Bye Street railway bridge, heart failure being the cause of death.
July 16 The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon addressed a gathering of members of the C.E.M.S. in the garden of Ledbury Rectory.
July 18 The junior members of Ledbury Church Choir visited Stratford-on-Avon on their annual outing.
July 18 At the annual meeting of the Ledbury and District British Legion Club Ltd an increase of membership was reported and the funds of the club showed a credit balance of £190.
July 22 Annual entertainment given by the pupils of the Abbey School in aid of the Poor Children’s Holiday Fund.
July 25 Ledbury Hunt earth-stoppers annual dinner at the Feathers Hotel.
July 26 Ledbury ‘C’ Company Herefordshire Regt. Proceeded to Aberystwyth for their annual training, the Company being played to Ledbury station by the newly-formed town band.
July 27 Ledbury Grammar School country dance party given on the school lawns in aid of the National Institute for the Blind, a sum of over £9 being contributed towards the funds.
July 28 Junior Imperial League dance at the Feathers Hotel.
July 29 Court House School annual prize distribution and sports held at the Church Room.
July 30 A fete organised by the Ledbury Young Leaguers, in aid of the Children’s League of Pity, was held at the Orchard and proved a great success, a net profit of £24 9s 6d being made.
July 30 Ledbury Rugby Football Club annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel.
July 30 The 84th annual flower show of the Colwall Garden Club was held at Winnings Meadow.
July 30 Mrs Katherine RADCLIFFE COOKE, widow of the late Mr C.W. RADCLIFFE COOKE, who formerly resided at Hellens, Much Marcle, died as a result of a motor accident near Hereford.
August 3 The annual sport, fete and flower show, organised by the Ledbury British Legion, which was built on Pound Meadow, was favoured with fine weather and proved a most successful event, a crowd of upwards of 2000 attending the show. In the evening a fancy dress ball was held at the Royal Hall, at which there was a large attendance.
August 4 Ledbury Hunt annual puppy show hels at Forthampton Court, Tewkesbury.
August 10 Bosbury agriculture and horticultural show.
August 11 Annual meeting of the Ledbury Musical Society held at the Congregational School Room. The work selected for their next annual concert was the light opera ‘The Rebel Maid’.
August 14 Redmarley horticultural show and sports.
August 19 The death occurred at Harrogate of Sir John Edwin MITCHELL, OBE, of Haffield, Ledbury, at the age of 66. The late Sir John MITCHELL, who was secretary and a managing director of the well-known brewery firm of Mitchells and Butlers Ltd, took over the Haffield estate at Ledbury about nine years ago. The funeral took place at the village Church of Donnington.
August 20 Annual puppy show of Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s foxhounds, held at Donnington Hall.
August 23 Ledbury Fire Brigade were summoned to a fire on the premises of Mr E.H. PRITCHARD, The Verzons, at which the brigade was engaged for nearly 48 hours.
August 27 The members of Ledbury Baby Welfare Club were entertained by the Eastnor W I at Eastnor.
August 29 Ledbury Fire Brigade attended a fire at Arnells Farm, Much Marcle.
August 29 Much Marcle and Yatton annual flower show and sports.
September 2 Hop-picking commenced in the majority of local yards,
September 5 Concert at the Royal Hall for the benefit of Miss Betty THOMPSON, a little girl who was permanently injured in a motor accident outside her home in New Street.
September 7 The death occurred at Holmer Park, Hereford, of Major-General Sir Elliott WOOD, KCB, at the age of 87. He was a son of the late Mr and Mrs Miles A. WOOD, and was born at Orchardleigh, Ledbury.
September 20 After a lapse of four years, a very successful church parade in aid of Ledbury Cottage Hospital.
September 20 Ledbury Wesleyan Church anniversary services.
September 28 In connection with the national celebration of the Faraday Centenary Ledbury Market House was flood-lighted each evening during the week by the S.W. and S Electric Power Co.
September 29 At a dance organised by the Junior Imperial League, at the Feathers Assembly Rooms, an antique bronze log box was presented to the hostess, Mrs TOWNSEND, who was giving up possession of the Feathers Hotel, a business which she had conducted for many years.
October 1 Whist Drive at the Church Room, organised by St Michael’s Football Club.
October 2 The annual meeting of members of Ledbury Reading Room and Library was held at the Barrett Browning Institute.
October 4 Harvest Festival at Ledbury Parish Church.
October 5 At the monthly meeting of the Urban Council it was announced that for the first time in the towns history no urban rent was levied for the ensuing half year.
October 5 Disorderly scenes were witnessed at the Market Place at a series of open-air meetings during the week, conducted by the preachers sent out by the Protestant Truth Society. As a result of the disturbances further meetings of the Wickliffe preachers were banned by police.
October 6 Ledbury was visited by the touring choir of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage, when the Royal Hall was crowded, the proceeds amounting to upwards of £15 in aid of the orphanage.
October 8 The 28th annual competitions organised by the Ledbury Ploughing Society were held at Huntley’s Farm, Much Marcle.
October 11 Special centenary services held at Ledbury Congregational Church.
October 12 Scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘King Richard II’ performed by members of Wesley Guild in the Wesleyan Schoolroom.
October 13 For the first time for nearly 40 years the annual Michaelmas pleasure fair was held in the main streets of Ledbury. All day long the streets were crowded with throngs of merry-makers and at times congestion of traffic was the chief problem.
October 15 Annual meetings under the auspices of the British and Foreign Bible Society were held at the Town Hall.
October 15 Lord SOMERS returned home to Eastnor Castle from Victoria, Australia, where he had completed his term of office as Governor.
October 19 Installation ceremony at the Plough Hotel, in connection with the Ledbury Lodge R.A.O.B, when the Grand Primo of England, Bro. E R SOWERBY, ROH, acted as installing officer at the installation of Bros. A. JAMES and J.H. MANSELL, who were raised to the Order of Merit in recognition of their services to the Lodge.
October 20 Ledbury Rugby FC dance at the Feathers Hotel.
October 27 The General Election, the most amazing election in modern political history, resulted in the phenomenal rout of the Labour Party. The result of the poll in Hereford Division was :- Mr J P L THOMAS (National Conservative) 19,418 : Mr Frank OWEN (Liberal) 12,465: Conservative majority of 6,953.
October 29 The Royal Hall was filled with parents and friends of pupils on the occasion of the annual ‘Speech Day’ and prize distribution in connection with the Ledbury Grammar School.
November 2 At the Wesleyan Schoolroom a programme devoted to Irish music was given by the Wesley Guild.
November 3 The annual meeting of members of Ledbury Hunt was held at the Feathers Hotel. The financial statement showed that assets exceeded liabilities by £1,929 12s 4d.
November 4 Opening meet at Col. SPENCE-COLBY’s foxhounds held at Donnington Hall.
November 5 Annual prize-giving in connection with the Ledbury Girls’ Council Schools. During the proceeding Phyllis JACKSON was presented with an attache case in recognition of her wonderful record of making eight years perfect attendance.
November 7 Annual meeting of the British Legion (Ledbury branch). A credit balance of £67 6s 9d was reported and a membership of 139.
November 9 Ledbury Girl Guides annual meeting at the Church Room.
November 10 Death of Mr Henry DEW, of New Street, at the age of 69 years.
November 10 Ledbury Traders Association annual meeting at the Feathers Hotel.
November 11 The annual Remembrance Day service was held at the War Memorial in the Market Square and followed customary lines.
November 11 Poppy Day collection in Ledbury and District realised the sum of £146 9s 7d.
November 12 The annual whist drive and dance organised by Ledbury Sports Club was held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 14 Public meeting at the Feathers Hotel in connection with the local branch of the League of Nations Union. Commander Norman LEWIS, RN, related many interesting reminiscences of the Great War while in command of the ‘mystery ship’ Q2.
November 17 The death occurred at Sun View House, Hereford Road, of Mr James PARTRIDGE, following injuries sustained when he was knocked down by a cyclist. The late Mr PARTRIDGE, who was 79 years of age, had for a number of years carried on business as a miller at New Mills, retiring about 2 years ago.
November 26 A very successful dance organised by St Michael’s F C was held at the Feathers Hotel.
November 27 Women’s Unionist Association social evening at the Royal Oak Hotel.
December 2 Ladies festival night in connection with Eastnor Lodge of Freemasons, held at Feathers Hotel.
December 3 A whist drive was held in the Church Room, organised by the Ledbury Town Football Club, for the benefit of Mr Alf CALE, the captain of the Town team who, in a recent match at Colwall, had the misfortune to break his leg.
December 4 Under the auspices of the local Women’s Unionist Association, a very successful dance was held at the Feathers Hotel to celebrate the election to Parliament of Mr J P L THOMAS as National Conservative Member for the Hereford Division.
December 7 A net profit of £16 18s 0d was raised at a partner bridge drive held at the Feathers Hotel in aid of Ledbury Church Fund.
December 7 A large number of unemployed men of Ledbury and district met at Maddox’s Café Pavillion, with the object of forming an organisation under the title of the Ledbury Unemployed Workers Association, in order to protest against dole cuts and also to protect their interests generally.
December 8 Ledbury Christmas fat stock show and sale.
December 10 A very successful social and dance organised by the Ledbury Women’s Liberal Association was held at the Feathers Hotel.
December 11 At a general meeting, the members of the Feathers Bowling Club decided to take up and re-lay their green at an approximate cost of £160.
December 15 The senior team of the Ledbury Girls’ Life Brigade won the drill challenge cup put up for competition by the Malvern and District G L B for the second year in succession.